Update on devolved benefits from the Scottish Government

Priority will be to deliver Scottish Child Payment

Social Security Secretary Shirley Anne Somerville has updated Parliament on the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on social security services in Scotland.

The majority of Social Security Scotland staff are now working from home to support efforts to slow the spread of Covid-19. The delivery of existing benefits continues with applications being received, processed and payments being made.

On benefits due to be introduced from this year, the Cabinet Secretary advised that, although they were on track to deliver these benefits, plans have had to change as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

The Scottish Government, DWP, local authorities and health and social care practitioners – who are all required to develop and deliver these benefits – are currently focused on the response and recovery from COVID-19. As a result, the introduction of Child Disability Payment and the Scottish Government’s replacement for Personal Independence Payments will be delayed. UK Ministers have agreed that they will continue to deliver disability benefits to Scottish clients over a longer transition period.

Scottish Child Payment, which was due to be introduced from this autumn, will also be delayed. The Scottish Government will focus its resources to deliver this as soon as practicably possible. The aim is to start taking applications by the end of 2020 with payments being made from 2021, subject to sufficient staff being in place.

In her statement, Ms Somerville also outlined the markedly different approach that the Scottish Government plans to take in its delivery of disability benefits. The new decision-making process for this in Scotland will mean no face-to-face assessments and decisions will be informed by the professional judgement of health and social care practitioners – not assessors. The new process will involve the following steps:

  • Social Security Scotland will make decisions using the information provided by applicants and checking this against existing guidance in the first instance
  • where it is not possible to make a decision, applicants will be able to tell Social Security Scotland about the health and social care professionals who already support them. Social Security Scotland will then be able to contact those professionals to collect supporting information
  • when it is the only practical way of collecting the information, a minority of working age clients will be invited to a discussion with a health and social care practitioner. If such a client consultation takes place, it would be arranged to suit the client, and the majority of these consultations are expected to be conducted by phone.

For further detail, please see:

Please share this content with those who you work with who may be impacted by this announcement.

We would encourage everyone to continue claiming all the support that they are entitled to through both Department for Work and Pensions, Social Security Scotland and Local Authorities.

Letter from Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care Jeanne Freeman about PPE

Dear Colleague,

The safety of our health and social care workforce is an absolute priority of the Scottish Government and it is vital that workers have absolute clarity on which PPE they should wear in which setting or scenario. That is why I wanted to write to you to provide you with an update of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) availability for staff across the health and social care system.

We will be issuing almost eight million items of PPE stock in the coming week to support Primary Care and Social Care. Work continues as an absolute priority to source further PPE to ensure there continues to be an appropriate supply for all our health and social care workforce.

We monitor our supply stock, orders and delivery timelines daily and against growing demand and I can confirm we currently have adequate stock of PPE, equating to six weeks’ worth of hospital stock for the most critical items. Additional orders are continuously placed with the most recent being a further supply of FFP3 and IIR masks.

From the 30 March we introduced a number of additional steps to ensure the swift delivery of PPE to those who need it. We now have 4 delivery and distribution routes covering hospital, primary and community care, social care and the SAS. PPE supplies for pharmacy are delivered through the medicine distribution network.

We have a new dedicated email address for staff, MSPs or members of the public to raise specific supply issues. This is covid-19-health-PPE@gov.scot It will be monitored continuously and allow us to act to resolve any specific supply issues more quickly.

All of the supply and distribution of PPE follows the clinical guidance on what is required in which clinical situation or caring scenario. HPS and our Chief Nursing Officer have produced further clear information and info graphics which will be published this week and communicated directly with staff through a number of different platforms.

We are continuing to work alongside carer organisations to make sure carers have access to the right advice to help protect them are and their loved ones during this challenging period. We also know that some carers may require protective equipment should the person they are caring for be symptomatic of coronavirus. We are currently working to identify the most effective routes to direct them to the support they need.

The diagram in Annex A shows the supply routes for the four categories of health or social care provider. [See Page 4 of this attachment]

Hospital – A Single Point of Contact (SPoC) within each health board is managing coordination of PPE available on site, and ordering more as required. This system appears to be working well with decision making being quicker due to having a SPoC in place. There is a daily call with the health board contact, National Procurement and Scottish Government where issues can be raised.

Primary Care – Currently GPs contact their local Health Board SPoC to order more PPE or arrange delivery of orders. To supplement this, a new supply route is being set up to do a proactive delivery of 8 weeks’ worth of stock to each GP practice. This will be delivered to 8 hub locations, and then direct deliveries to c. 1,000 GP practices. This will begin on Monday and all deliveries will be complete by 3 April.

Social Care supply – A social care triage hub has now been operational for one week, and this is being scaled up to improve delivery to social care providers. A range of measures have been put in place from 26 March including, additional pickers to prepare orders and additional drivers in both volume and extended delivery hours.

Alongside boosting capacity within the social care triage hub, a proactive approach is being developed in parallel. This will be deliveries of PPE to local cluster points for onward distribution or collection by social care providers. This will be in place from week commencing 30 March. The supplies will be accessible to all Care Inspectorate registered social care providers, unpaid carers, personal assistants, non-registered services providing a social care support service with roles that have a need for PPE, and hospices. There will be up to 70 cluster points across the country – these are being identified and may be schools, community centres, or other appropriate locations.

The SSSC and NES have developed a core PPE training package for social care for those who are being redeployed to care roles, and for volunteers. Scottish Ambulance Service supply – Deliveries are made direct from National Procurement to two agreed locations in the central belt which a SAS SPoC manages. This process has not changed from the previous approach and has continued to strengthen as it beds in.

I would be grateful if you could share this information with your members.

Once again, I am thankful for all the hard work each and every one of you and your members are doing to support the people of Scotland in these difficult times. Let me also stress that should you have any concerns on this or any other matter, I hope you will not hesitate to contact me directly.

Kind regards,

JEANE FREEMAN

Update from the Standards Commission

Dear Colleagues

Please find attached the latest edition of our Standards Update for your information. We would be grateful if you could arrange for the Update and/or the link provided below to be circulated to your members and any colleagues who might find it of interest. Please also encourage them to follow us on Twitter: @StandardsScot and on Facebook: facebook.com/StandardsCommission/. If you require the Update in an alternative format, please let us know.

Standards Commission Update – March 2020

As you will be aware, the Standards Commission’s workshop for Standards Officers, due to be held on 23 March 2020, was postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. We had intended to seek suggestions from you on potential changes to the Model Code of Conduct, in light of the Scottish Government’s ongoing review and forthcoming formal consultation. As we were unable to proceed with the workshop at present, I am attaching a draft revised version of the Model Code, with explanations about the proposed changes included (in blue). If you have any comments or suggestions on this, please send them to us by 30 April 2020 and we will forward them to the Scottish Government to consider before it issues a version of the draft revised Code for formal consultation.

Also attached is a copy of Police Scotland’s Guidance on Serious Organised Crime and Business Exploitation, as mentioned in the Update.

If you have any questions, or if you wish to advise of a change of contact details, please do not hesitate to contact us.

This email has been sent to the Standards Officers and other nominated contacts within:

  • Further Education Colleges
  • National Health Service Boards
  • Individual Public Bodies
  • Regional Transport Partnerships
  • Health and Social Care Integration Joint Boards

Kind regards

Julie Scott

Administrative Assistant

Related documents

Carers of East Lothian Community Resilience Contacts

Andrew Tweedy, director of CoEL writes

Dear All

My colleague Kirsteen has been collating information about local resilience resources in East Lothian which CoEL is using to connect carers to local support as necessary.  While there our focus is on support that would be relevant for carers, we wanted to share this with others as it will be of relevance to all of us.  It is also a live document so please do let my colleague Kirsteen know if there are other groups who should be included or any other issues and if you have your own listing please let us know and we will try to collate them all.  It is worth flagging that groups noted in Red are “official” groups covered operating under cover of East Lothian Council insurance – others are informal groups who have come together in response to Coronavirus.

CoEL Community Resilience Contacts

FYI – CoEL is continuing to support carers locally but we are working from home and not doing visits.  Our contact details remain unchanged as all phones are forwarded onto staff mobiles etc.

Let us know if there is anything more CoEL can do to support and we will send updated versions of this document as appropriate.

Andrew

Andrew Tweedy
CEO – Carers of East Lothian (CoEL) Directline:  0131 653 1056
Mobile:  07842 827362

Staying Safe & Well: Self Care Guides for Staff looking after patients with Coronavirus

Psychology have put together this info for staff

We know from recent public statements that the pandemic is likely be disruptive to our own lives, the way we provide care and may be a cause of natural anxiety.

A spotlight is shining on the important work we do every day to care for our fellow citizens when they are very unwell. Amid the anxiety about the impact of the pandemic, there is a fresh appreciation and gratitude for our labour and a desire to support you as best we can as you look after people with coronavirus.

Here are the guides:

Thank you for everything you’re doing for all of us.

Mental Welfare Commission Eating disorder surveys

The Mental Welfare Commission is currently reviewing the care and treatment of people with eating disorders in Scotland.

In recent months they carried out a series of visits to wards and community services to look at the care and treatment of people with an eating disorder, and met with patients and families/carers.

They are now keen to hear from people they did not get to meet on these visits, including GPs, psychiatrists, dietitians, those providing psychological therapies, and individuals and families.
Take part at https://www.mwcscot.org.uk/…/eating-disorder-surveys-we-wan…

The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland wants to hear from you!

The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland has today launched a stakeholder survey seeking feedback on our roles and our work. The aim of the survey is to gather the views of people who have been in touch with the Commission, either on a personal or professional basis.  We are looking to find out how well each of our roles and responsibilities is understood, and to hear about how well you think we are doing.

This survey is being conducted by Wellside Research Ltd., an independent research company based in Scotland. All responses are anonymous and will be treated as confidential. Wellside Research will not share individual responses with the Mental Welfare Commission. The survey will take around 15-20 minutes to complete and is available here. 

The survey also contains information about a stakeholder event we are holding on 10 March so that we can get more detailed views about people’s experiences of the Commission. The event has limited places, so if you would be interested in taking part, please contact Elaine Wilson-Smith from Wellside Research, by phone on 0131 677 5522 or by email at elaine@wellsideresearch.co.uk

Please contact Elaine if you have any questions on the survey itself, too. We invite anyone who has been in contact with us, whether on a regular basis or as a one-off contact, to take part and give us their views. And please do circulate it amongst your networks.

The survey closes at 5pm on 25 February 2020.

WANT TO NOMINATE SOMEONE FOR A SCOTTISH SOCIAL SERVICES AWARD?

The 2020 Scottish Social Services Awards will open for nominations on Monday 13th January 2020.

This year the awards are merging with the Scottish Association of Social Work awards.  The new partnership will see categories introduced for a Social Worker and Student Social Worker of the Year.

Other changes also include updated categories about ethical practice from the Scottish Social Services Council and leadership in social work from Social Work Scotland.

To mark the merger the ceremony will take place at a new venue in Edinburgh. Finalists and guests will be invited to a special evening event due to take place at The Hub on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile from 6pm on Wednesday 3 June 2020.

The full list of categories and entry guidance can be viewed at www.sssa.scot alongside some handy hints and tips and former winning entries.

People have until the 21st February 2020 to enter or nominate an individual or team for an award.